BBRSD District-Wide Weekly Update

December 11, 2020

Superintendent's Office

Dear Families, Staff, and Students in the Berlin-Boylston School Community:


The recent spike in cases in our communities coupled with the increasing number of students who are not in attendance in our schools, have led me to make the difficult decision to move into a remote learning model as follows:


From Monday, December 21st through Wednesday, December 23rd (half day)


From Monday, January 4th through Friday, January 8th


In addition, all extracurricular activities and sports will be cancelled.


All school building staff and Central Office staff are also to remain at and work from home during this time period.


This decision comes as the warning of a post-Thanksgiving spike within our towns and affecting our schools has become a reality. In addition, we are choosing to close our buildings to in-person learning as a means of being proactive in getting ahead of the anticipated next wave of increases expected to occur after the holiday break.


As a result, this change will require staff to make arrangements to transition to the remote learning model during those days when classes are in session. Principals will provide further information to families and school staff next week regarding schedules and service delivery.


We are hoping that by making you aware of this decision in a timely manner, that you and your families will have an opportunity to plan accordingly. We will be back in touch with further updates within the week ahead. As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office if you have any questions or concerns. I can be reached at 508-869-2837 ext. 1107 or by email at jzanghi@bbrsd.org.


Thank you, and have a restful weekend.


Respectfully,


Jeffrey Zanghi, Superintendent of Schools

jzanghi@bbrsd.org

Business Office

FREE lunches for all students

Just a reminder, breakfast and lunch are free to all students this year, regardless of ability to pay, for in-person learning days, as well as remote learning days. Please fill out and submit the remote learning meal order form here to order meals.


Bob Conry, Director of Finance and Operations

rconry@bbrsd.org

Technology Department


Hello from the Technology Department. As we approach the holidays and that feeling that we

are reaching the mid-way point of the school year, I just wanted to take a moment to show my

appreciation for the work being done for our students. Thank you to my fellow Tech Department members who have worked tirelessly to make technology accessible to all of our students, teachers, and families. Thank you to the teachers, administrators, and support staff that has worked to make our schools both a safe place to learn but also a place where our students can be challenged once again to do their best and continue their education. Thank you to those community members that have risen to the occasion and donated goods, services, or just their time in order to make this crazy pandemic have less of an impact on our school community.Thank you to the parents and caretakers of our students who have had to sacrifice so many things in order for their students to make it through this challenging year. Thank you to our students for always surprising us at just how resilient you can be. Lastly, a big thank you to all of you for your patience and understanding that no matter how much we might like our technology to be“perfect”, there will always be glitches and bumps along the road. I thank you as my department and I try to eliminate those glitches and smooth out those roads.


As always, just a short reminder to say that as the year progresses should your child’s District-owned Chromebook fail or be in need of service, please bring the device to the school’s main office. There they will swap out the non-working device for a spare Chromebook. Repairs will be made if possible and the unit returned to the main office for pickup.



Paul Mara, Director of Technology

pmara@bbrsd.org

Boylston Elementary School


Well, it finally got here. We had our first case here at school. We followed all of the protocols and guidance. The most difficult piece was how limited our communication had to be to remain compliant with privacy laws. I did, however, get some great questions from parents about procedures that I could answer and thought others may like to have answers for as well:

  • Who is considered a "close contact" and what happens when they are?

    • Close contacts are considered anyone that would likely have been within 6 feet of the person with the positive test result for a cumulative 15 minutes. Even though we limit movement and maintain 6 feet of social distancing throughout the day, because of the nature of elementary schools we consider anyone in the classroom for more than 15 minutes a possible close contact.

  • What about the bus, how can you tell close contacts on the bus?

    • The bus company maintains and enforces assigned seating charts that allow us to determine who could be seated near an individual with a COVID case.

  • How about the lunchroom (cafe-nasium, gym-ateria)?

    • The spaces are clearly distanced by more than 6 feet and it is easy to limit the movement through the space. Unless something out of the protocols happens, people in the lunchroom are not necessarily a close contact.

  • What about siblings and family members or a child in a room that may have been exposed?

    • We do not track and/or quarantine close contacts of close contacts. If someone lives in the home of a person who is being quarantined for possible exposure, we encourage them to stay home but it is not required.

  • Why didn't we close the school when other schools in the district have?

    • Without getting into specifics around the people involved, one of the main disruptors is staffing. When numerous staff members are counted as close contacts requiring 14 days of quarantine it can be difficult to staff the building thus requiring it to close. We have not had that problem...yet. But this does bring me to the next section of the blog.

Have you ever considered subbing? Not only could you help out the school and be involved with your child's education, and pick up tips for remote learning but you might actually help us stay open.



Mrs. Sullivan asked me to share the following:


We are still collecting for the Gift of Giving Tree. So far the response has been overwhelming! It is a pleasure to work in such a caring and supportive community!

The Flu Vaccine is required for all students (remote and Hybrid) at BES by December 31, 2020. The vaccine is available at all CVS Pharmacies and Walgreen Pharmacies, as well as Pediatricians' Offices (as a Nurse's Visit). Please send a copy to her via email (fsullivan@bbrsd.org) or in with your child so it can be added to their medical records.

Thank you to all the Parents/Guardians of students at BES for being so proactive during this COVID-19 Pandemic. We have succeeded "together" in keeping our students and families both safe and healthy!


The electronic folder

The week ahead: Specials Schedule Week 2

  • Tuesday (12/15)

    • Report Cards home for Cohort A

    • School Committee Meeting

  • Thursday (12/17)

  • Friday (12/18)

    • Report Cards home for Cohort B

  • Monday (12/21)

    • Remote - Festive Holiday Sweater Day!

  • Tuesday (12/22)

    • Remote - Festive Holiday Sweater Day!

  • Wednesday (12/23)

    • Half-Day Remote





Ace Thompson, Principal

athompson@bbrsd.org

Tahanto Regional Middle/High School




This Week’s Schedule


Week of 12/13/20-12/17/20 EVEN WEEK (High School Only) *


Cohort A (Last name A-LeB) you are at Tahanto in person on Monday, Tuesday & remote Wednesday-Friday

Cohort B (Last name Lee-Z) you are remote Monday -Wednesday and in-person Thursday & Friday



Christmas Trees for Those In Need


The Boylston Lion’s Club has graciously donated Christmas trees for families who may be in need of a tree this season. If you are interested please call the main office at (508) 869-2333.



Schedule for 12/21/20-12/23/20


Please click HERE for information regarding our schedule for the week of 12/21/20-12/23/20.



Nurse's News


Mandatory Daily Parent Screening Health Checklist


State Mandated Flu Vaccination

Please click here for important information

The documentation deadline is December 31, 2020


Questions? Contact Janet Sequeira, School Nurse at (508)869-2333 ext. 2303


Athletics

Please make sure that student-athletes have Covid related supplies (masks, sanitizer, plenty of water) in their gym bags.


The deadline for Winter sports registration is December 13th for JV and varsity boys and girls basketball.


As determined by the MIAA, cheer and middle school sports will not be offered this Winter.

Please go to the front of the athletic website, click on the Winter Registration link, and follow the directions for registration.


Please be sure that your physical is updated. It is valid for 13 months after being issued. Once it expires, you are not eligible to participate in athletics until it is renewed.


Tryouts will start Monday, December 14.

The athletic fee for basketball will be due after tryouts. Please do not make payments until this time. Look to the athletic website for more updates for Winter sports as they become available.


Look to the athletic website for scores and updates. https://tahantoregional.rschoolteams.com/



Matt Porcaro

Athletic Director

Tahanto Regional

mporcaro@bbrsd.org




Tahanto Ski and Snowboard Club Last Call!


Tahanto Middle/High School has a parent-run Ski and Snowboard Club! This non-competitive club allows students to independently enjoy local ski/snowboarding at Wachusett Mountain. This club will run Tuesdays--Jan. 5th through Feb. 9th, 2021. Two coaches will take 46 students, appropriately social-distanced and masked, to Wachusett Mountain. We have 5 seats left! To take advantage of this program, please see the attached flyer. Send the attached sign-up form to tahantoskiandsnowboard@gmail.com to reserve your seat.


For information click https://drive.google.com/file/d/1pUE76ND5UTOye5-6YWWggyz6ZAefYK3x/view?usp=sharing


To Sign-Up click

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1d1L2UrE24Y3vhXxt6V-xTeKzX0RM6dNA/view?usp=sharing


Any questions? Email parent volunteers: John Stoffel and Christi Stille at tahantoskiandsnowboard@gmail.com



Start Your Holiday Shopping Now!


Click on Tahanto Book Fair to start your shopping



School Committee Policy Update on Travel during COVID

Please read the following update to the travel policy. TRAVEL: All staff and students are expected to comply with Governor Baker’s Travel Orders. In addition, if staff/students of any age travel outside of states deemed “low risk,” staff/students would be required to quarantine for 14 days regardless of test results.


Families, please contact the nurse if you have traveled outside of Massachusetts to a “high risk” state. Currently, the only state that is not deemed to be high risk is Hawaii. Now, if you are going to Hawaii there is also a policy stating that you must take the principal with you :)

These restrictions are put in place to keep everyone safe and healthy. We appreciate everyone’s commitment to this.


After School Extra Help & Late Bus

The hope is that it will provide a convenient option for students who might otherwise not be able to stay after school, to receive extra help from their teachers.


When will the bus run?

The bus will run on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with pickup at Tahanto at 3:15 pm. Travel time is estimated to be 30 - 35 minutes.


Where will the stops be located?

The bus will transport students to the following “cluster” stops in Berlin and Boylston:

  • Boylston Public Library (695 Main Street, Boylston)

  • Calliope Theatre (150 Main Street, Boylston)

  • Berlin General Store (19 Central Street, Berlin)

  • US Post Office (260 Pleasant Street, Berlin)

On Tuesdays – the bus will go to the Berlin stops first, and then the Boylston stops

On Thursdays – the bus will go to the Boylston stops first, and then the Berlin stops

**Please check your teachers’ websites and Google Classrooms for specific days that your child's teachers will be available after school. If extra help is needed on a Monday or Wednesday, personal transportation must be provided.


Every Tuesday after school in the Library Conference Room we are offering math support for all students in grades 6-12. No need to sign up, just show up!



Important Clarification for Attendance

This is a clarification for all parents/students. If you are scheduled to be in person for learning, you may not choose to learn remotely unless you are not feeling well in which case a parent would call the school nurse.


If a student stays home due to not feeling well, a parent may write a parental excusal which should be brought into the Main Office upon the student's return to school. If the nurse excuses the student's absence for the day and allows the student to study remotely, students in a different cohort should contact their teachers to let them know they are planning on studying remotely as they may not have access to the Google Meet links/materials needed to work remotely.


School lunch in the cafeteria is free to all students until 6/30/2021, or until federal funding is depleted. Snack and extra meals are not included. Click here for more information.



Counselors Corner

Please click HERE to view the latest information from the School Counseling Department

Parents of high school students, please make sure that your email address is up to date in Naviance. This will allow you to receive up to date information from Mrs. Rodman.


Ms. Ford’s Virtual Office

Ms. Ford's Virtual Office Link

I developed this Virtual Office to provide students with the opportunity to have fun while learning about different coping skills, relevant topics such as Anxiety, and space where they can explore content to help them strengthen their social-emotional skill set. I update the office with new links and content weekly and even have had some suggestions from students too. So far this has allowed me to interact with students in a different way while teaching them they can "virtually do anything". A lot of students and parents have recognized that it is hard to utilize coping strategies while at home or when they do not have immediate access to them. In this office, they can explore what meets their needs and gain insight on areas they need additional support and feel connected.


Powerschool

Are you or your child having trouble logging onto your PowerSchool? Parents, do you need an account set-up? We encourage parents and students to have their own accounts. With that said, please reach out to Mrs. Esposito with any account-related concerns at besposito@bbrsd.org. As a friendly reminder, we DO NOT send home report cards. All grades can be viewed on PowerSchool. If you have multiple children in grades 6-12, parents can view each of their child’s information from one account.


Have you logged into PowerSchool but are unable to see grades? At the very top of the screen, above the student’s name there is a tab for Grades and Attendance, select the tab for them to appear. (This is different from the tab on the left-hand menu bar). Anything in blue, you can click on and it will provide detailed information like classwork, grades for an assignment, and days absent from the class. Your child’s teacher email information is also provided, should you need to reach them with any questions or concerns.


Attendance Information/Clarification

School districts must take attendance for every student, every period regardless of the mode of learning. If your child is absent from school whether your child is remote or in person, please follow the same procedures:


  1. Call (508)869-2333 x 2303 to report your child absent. If your child is absent due to a medical appt. (doctor or dentist) please bring a note to the main office from the doctor’s office the next day your child is at Tahanto.


  1. If your child is going to be late to school for either remote learning or in-person please still call the above number and make us aware of this. Remote attendance will be taken within the first 10 minutes of class.


  1. Each student has 3 parental excusals that can be used during each semester for absences that are not subject to a doctor’s visit. To use parental excusal please write a note and have your child bring the note to the main office on the next day your child is in person at Tahanto.


If we do not receive a call notifying us of the absence, the secretaries in the main office will be contacting parents/guardians.


If you need further clarification or need to ask a question specific to your child’s attendance, please do not hesitate to contact Sue Boudreau at (508)869-2333 or send an email to sboudreau@bbrsd.org.



Tahanto Regional High School

1001 Main Street

Boylston, MA 01505

(508) 869-2333




Diane Tucceri, Principal

dtucceri@bbrsd.org


Sally-Ann Stukuls, Principal

sstukuls@bbrsd.org